Patio Trees - Knowledgebase Question

Yorba Linda, CA
Question by wwbeez
March 25, 1999
What type of tree would be best to plant in a brick patio's planter? I would like one that flowers, umbrella shaped, can be kept below 20 feet in height, deciduous, and does not have invasive roots.

Answer from NGA
March 25, 1999


Have you considered Crape Myrtle, Albizia, Golden Chain or Hawthorn? They'll stay small for a long time, each produces seasonal bloom, and all are deciduous. Roots will not be a problem for 10 or more years, but tree roots traditionally explore as far out as the tree's height. So, a 20' tree will have roots travelling out 20' in all directions. If there's not enough room for that kind of root spread in your patio planter, you might want to consider a large shrub instead of a small tree. Shrubs can be trained to look like trees. I've seen some spectacular Wisteria's trained into a umbrella-shaped trees. You can do the same with Camellia and Holly (although they're evergreen), and with Lilac, Russian Olive.

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